Vanessa Williams (born Vanessa Lynn Williams, 18.3.1963)
Vanessa Williams is an American singer-songwriter and actress. In 1983, Williams became the first African American woman to win the Miss America beauty pageant.
Vanessa Williams: Childhood
Vanessa Williams was born in the Tarrytown area of New York. Her mother and father, Helen and Milton Augustine Williams Jr. were both music teachers. Her brother, Chris Williams, grew up to be an actor. The two siblings were raised in the middle-class area of Millwood, New York.
As a child, Vanessa Williams studied French horn and piano and also enjoyed singing. She earned herself a scholarship to Syracuse University, studying for a major on Theatre Arts. She left the university when she won the Miss America contest, so that she could fulfill her role as the winner. She did, however, achieve a graduation certificate from the university 25 years later when she earned her remaining credits from her Tony-award winning Broadway shows.
Vanessa Williams: Beauty Pageants
Vanessa Williams first started entering beauty pageants in the 1980s. In 1983, she won Miss New York and in September that year, she was crowned Miss America 1984 and became the first African American woman to win the title. Williams received death threats and racial abuse prior to winning the title and 10 months into her reign, she received an anonymous phone call threatening to publish some nude photographs that had been taken of her before she won the title. Hugh Hefner refused to publish the pictures in Playboy on the grounds that they had not been authorised for release and did not want to embarrass Williams any further. However, Bob Guccione, the editor of Penthouse paid for the rights to the photos, regardless of Williams' wishes. As a result, Williams was stripped of her Miss America title.
Vanessa Williams: Music Career
In 1988, Vanessa Williams released her debut album, The Right Stuff. The lead single, of the same name, was a success on the US R&B charts. The second single was '(He's Got) The Look' and the third, 'Dreamin'', was Williams' first Top 10 hit on the mainstream Hot 100 chart. The album reached gold status and she won three Grammy Awards, including the Best New Artist Grammy.
Williams' second album, The Comfort Zone featured the hit single 'Running Back To You'. The next three singles, 'Just For Tonight', 'Work To Do' and 'Freedom Dance (Get Free!)' also performed well. Her biggest hit single to date, though, was 'Save The Best For Last' The single reached number one in the US singles charts and reached the top five in Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. The Comfort Zone sold over 2 million copies in the US alone.
The third album from Vanessa Williams, released in 1994, was The Sweetest Days, which was a blend of jazz, hip-hop and Latin. It featured the tracks 'Betcha Never' and 'You Can't Run' which were written and produced by Babyface. The album was nominated for two Grammy awards.
In 1997, Williams released Next, and Everlasting Love in 2005.
Williams also released two Christmas albums. The first, Star Bright, was released in 1996 and the second, Silver and Gold, was released in 2004.
In 2009, Vanessa Williams announced a new album, to be released in June 2009, who is now signed to Concord Records.
Vanessa Williams: Acting Career
In 1994, Vanessa Williams was cast in a Broadway production of Kiss of the Spider Woman. She then appeared in a revival of Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim.
Williams has also landed roles in a number of feature films, with the most prominent being 1997's Soul Food. She also starred in the 1991 underground hit, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. She went on to star opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser and opposite Chayanne in Dance With Me. In 2009, Williams featured in the Hannah Montana film, alongside Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana: The Movie.
A pivotal role for Williams was her performance as Wilhelmina Slater in the ABC comedy Ugly Betty, which is produced by Salma Hayek.
Vanessa Williams: Personal Life
Vanessa Williams' first marriage was to Ramon Hervey II, who was her manager at the time. They were married from 1987-97 and have three children together. Her second marriage was to Rick Fox, the ex basketball player. They eloped and married in 1999 and have one daughter together. They divorced in 2005.
Vanessa Williams and Edward Watts - The New York Philharmonic concert version of Show Boat, held at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 6th November 2014
The 51 year-old actress is set to tie the knot for a third time to a former accountant she met while vacating in Egypt.
Vanessa Williams is going to become a married woman for a third time! The former model and actress is set to tie the knot with her boyfriend of nearly two years Jim Skrip, a retired accountant from Buffalo, and she couldn't wait to announce the happy news.
Williams annouced the exciting news on 'The Queen Latifah Show'
On Friday (26th September) Williams appeared on a taping of The Queen Latifah Show to promote the Broadway play she currently features in, 'The Trip to Bountiful,' but discussing her new starring role was overshadowed by her dazzling engagement ring.
Continue reading: Actress Vanessa Williams Confirms Engagement To Jim Skrip
Vanessa Williams is engaged!
Vanessa Williams is engaged!
Vanessa Williams - Dynamic & Diverse: A 66th Emmy Awards Celebration of Diversity Event at Television Academy. An Array of stars turned out to the event in the North of Hollywood to celebrate diversity on the small screen - Arrivals - North Hollywood, California, United States - Tuesday 12th August 2014
Which films were on the brink of a completely different lead star?
With Robert Downey Jr fitting so perfectly as likeable irritant Tony Stark, Christian Bale slipping so easily into the tortured billionaire psyche of Bruce Wayne and Daniel Day-Lewis transforming himself into the epitome of Abraham Lincoln, it's hard to believe that for all of the above roles, there were some serious previous contenders. But contenders there were and some of the not entirely savoury.
Tom Cruise as Iron Man
The pint-sized action hero made it his mission impossible to kick ass as IMF agent, Ethan Hunt, but could he have romanced Pepper Potts in quite the same way as Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man? It seems like we very nearly found out with Cruise at one point in serious contention to play the arrogant but entertaining genius.
Continue reading: Lead Film Roles That Could Have Looked Very Different
Nina Davuluri became the first Miss America of Indian descent. The 24-year-old Miss New York was crowned on Sunday 15th September in Atlantic City. Some viewers took to social media sites to express their unhappiness at the judges' decision, racially abusing Davuluri.
Nina Davuluri made history after being crowned Miss America 2014 at Sunday's ceremony held in Atlantic City. Nina Davuluri is the first winner of the crown of Indian descent. The New Yorker celebrated her heritage by performing a Bollywood dance for the talent section of the pageant, also another first. On this subject, whilst being interviewed on Good Morning America, Davuluri said "It's the first time Bollywood has ever been performed on the Miss America stage and it's such an honour for myself, my family and the Indian community, as well."
Nina Davuluri after being crowned Miss America 2014.
However, the response to the crowning of Davuluri was shocking, as many viewers took to social media sites to racially abuse the new Miss America. Some users of Twitter referred to American born Davuluri as "the Arab" and "Miss 7-11." Yet another user wrote "This is America, not India", according to USA Today.
Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy may be all over the news but making babies isn’t all that the reality TV star has been up to lately. She’s also been doing a spot of acting, in Tyler Perry’s latest movie, Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor. Kim appears in the movie alongside Eric West, Jurnee Smollett, Vanessa Williams and Brandy Norwood.
Tyler Perry’s latest venture tells the tale of a marriage counsellor whose own marriage is hit with complications when she starts an affair with one of her clients and her professional and personal lives collide. Kim plays the role of an employee at a matchmaking firm and its her voiceover that open’s the trailer, with the words “we have a billion dollars walking in and out of these offices looking for love.” Dressed in a skin-tight, peach coloured dress, she says to Judith (Jurnee Smollet), “We have a standard to uphold and that blouse, it's telling it all,” to which Judith replies “So does your dress.” When Kim’s character Ava asks what’s wrong with the dress, Judith replies “Can you even breathe?” with a smirk.
Kim unveiled the trailer on her blog, writing “I'm so excited to reveal the trailer for the new Tyler Perry movie I am in called Temptation. This has been an incredible experience for me and I'm so excited for the movie to come out on March 29, 2013.”
While Judith may not have the natural credibility for her job as a marriage counsellor, having only ever experienced male affection from her husband of six years (partner for nearly twenty), she works at a highly well respected practice with a clientele of mainly well-off people, with dreams of setting up her own private business. One day she finds herself familiar with one of her new clients, whom she happens to see often while out jogging. In spite of herself, she finds herself unable to resist his charms, as her own domestic life slowly begins to fail. While she initially believes him to be an escape, it soon becomes clear that he is abusive and controlling, and pretty soon she's going to have to tell her husband her heartbreaking secret before anymore damage can be done. Can this marriage expert save her own relationship? Or is it too late even for her?
'Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor' is an ironic tale of how love and lust can engulf even the most moral of people. It's the thirteenth film from director, writer and producer Tyler Perry ('I Can Do Bad All by Myself', 'Why Did I Get Married?') and was released in March 2013.
Director: Tyler Perry
Kim Kardashian must really be sick of people asking her what she's famous for because she has actually been doing what can only be described as work (in a sense) over the past few months.
Now, her latest professional turn sees her in front of the camera and actually acting (well...) rather than whatever she normally does when she's being filmed. Clearly, this is big news.
The new trailer for Tyler Perry's next movie, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Councillor, shows Kim K in the role of Ava, a sassy matchmaker, who in the trailer is seen disparaging a co-worker's fashion sense since it’s not representative of their business - I wonder where they came up with that character development? As well as talking about clothes, Kim's character also dates rich men, but then again did anyone really expect to see her as Lady MacBeth in her first role?
Date of birth
18th March, 1963